Mangaluru explosion not accidental, an act of terror: Karnataka home minister, DGP

What was initially described as a minor blast occurred in an autorickshaw in Mangaluru on Saturday evening.

BySouth First Desk

Published Nov 20, 2022 | 10:53 AM Updated Nov 20, 2022 | 3:42 PM

Mangaluru blast

The blast on Saturday, 19 November, in an autorickshaw in Mangaluru was not an accident but an “act of terror”, Karnataka GDP Praveen Sood said on Sunday.

In a tweet, the DGP said, “It’s confirmed now. The blast is not accidental but an act of terror with intention to cause serious damage. Karnataka State Police is probing deep into it along with central agencies.”

In a statement, Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said: “The injured are in critical condition and are non-responsive. The government is providing them best treatment.”

“Mangaluru Police have launched the investigation… prima facie, it is suspected that the conspirators have connections with terrorist organisations,” Jnanendra said, calling it a terror act.

He said Mangaluru City Police was jointly probing the incident with central investigative agencies.

“We have already held talks with central investigative agencies. The local cops are jointly probing with central agencies,” he said.

“I am confident that in a day or two, the blast case will be cracked,” Jnanendra added.

The blast occurred on Saturday evening inside an autorickshaw, leaving the passenger and the driver injured. Both have been admitted to the hospital.

On Saturday, the police had said it was too early to comment on the nature of the blast.

“The driver alleged he spotted the fire. They (driver and passenger) are undergoing treatment and are unable to speak now. We request the public not to spread rumours. They should remain calm and not panic. We will update once we speak to them,” city Police Commissioner N Sasikumar had said.

Police said that CCTV visuals showed the autorickshaw catching fire after what appeared to be a minor explosion.

However, police later recovered a burnt pressure cooker as well as batteries in the auto aftermath the explosion.

They are now looking for eye-witnesses who can help them piece together the sequence of events leading to the explosion.

(With inputs from PTI)